Kitchen Vs. Kitchenette: What’s The Difference?

Have you ever considered the more eccentric side of designing your home? Things that deviate from norm and tradition break boundaries between being typical to being innovative and taking one familiar concept and turning it into a brand new idea. Everything mentioned is all advancements that we can thank the experts in our society for, as many things become more and more practical and customizable these days. However, what if these new ideas apply to your own home? More specifically, the necessary place in your home that allows you to cook your favorite meals: your kitchen, of course! Or maybe a kitchenette?

For this article, we will be comparing and contrasting the kitchen and its variant, the kitchenette. Here, you can pinpoint the advantages and disadvantages these two can provide if you plan to renovate your current home or move to an entirely new one. Without further ado, let us jump straight into their differences.


“A kitchenette is essentially just a smaller version of the kitchen” is what you would assume, right? Well, that is not precisely the case because a small kitchen (with a room of its own) is still technically a kitchen that is just smaller than you would imagine based on the average size you would typically see in houses. Kitchenettes have one key difference that allows them to fall into their classification, and that is the fact that they are a portion of a completely different room.

Photo credits: Andrea Davis

🟪 Partitions

When you picture a kitchen, you typically see a room with a refrigerator, microwave, stoves, and other appliances and a bundle of utensils. However, kitchenettes may consist of the same appliances and utensils. But these appliances do not have their own room, and their space is often in a dining area or even a bedroom. 

🟪 Functions

Of course, some apartments or smaller houses have one huge space that fuses some rooms into one another, which is why the kitchenette and the bedroom are technically in one room. However, that does not mean that the kitchenette is any less functional than the kitchen because they still have the same purpose. You can technically use some space-saving methods, especially if you know someone with a vast knowledge of home design, to compress the contents of your kitchen even further.

So if kitchenettes are smaller than kitchens and can save you a lot of space, then what is the catch? Of course, it is easy to assume that everything has a big downside just because it brings some convenience and practicality. Still, it depends on the observer’s current situation.

To find out the kitchenette’s downsides (and other advantages), we first need to compare it to a kitchen. For this, we should assume that the kitchen in question has a dedicated room inside the house or at least comprises the average size of a room.


🟪 Pros

>>More storage and space are available. 

A whole room dedicated to a kitchen will naturally have much more space available than a kitchenette. This also means more storage will be available for both your appliances and utensils rather than having to put them somewhere else. You can also place food supplies in case of emergencies inside your storage (typically consisting of cabinets) through this extra space. Overall, if you want more space for your kitchen, then having a room solely used for it can be beneficial. 

>>The scent in the kitchen will typically stay or be ejected within its premises.

Inevitably, some meals (especially if they consist of meat and seafood) can produce scents that can easily scatter around the whole house if you are using a kitchenette. However, this becomes less of an issue with kitchens since most of the scent is trapped within its premises. If you have a ventilation system that you can turn on to get rid of these scents, then this is usually not something you should consider.

>>Lessens the risk of fire spreading quickly. 

Kitchens are the most likely sources of a fire because they have equipment that produces fire or is flammable. Because of this, you would usually keep common materials that are easily flammable (such as clothes or wooden furniture) in other rooms, such as your bedroom. Kitchenettes can be connected to other rooms that contain these materials, which can pose a threat if you are not careful with using your stoves. However, this is typically not an issue as long as you are careful, have the proper knowledge to deal with fire, and have some safety equipment within the kitchenette’s premises.

>>The ingredients do not get easily exposed to dirt from other rooms. 

When some kitchenettes are connected to other rooms, such as the living room, they can be exposed to outside dirt, which can be prevented by having a kitchen. This can become an issue for some people, especially those living in urban areas where dust flows persistently in the air. The fixes for this can be simple, but it is worth noting that you will typically have an easier time with this concern if your kitchen is separate from the living room.

>>Having a dedicated kitchen is more comfortable for a lot of people. 

Some people like having their own kitchen, especially if they have the soul of a culinary enthusiast. Not only is it comfortable to have your dedicated room for cooking as if you are running a show to become the second Gordon Ramsay, but it is also comforting for many people to have a prominent place where they can store food in case of emergencies. Regardless, it all comes down to personal preference for this pro.

🟪 Cons

>>It can easily consume a lot of space if not appropriately managed. 

The same pro we previously mentioned can quickly become a con under certain circumstances. Space is valuable for some people, and they would rather not spend it on cooking if they can use space-saving options instead.

>>Occasions can be a hassle because of having to walk to other rooms where food will be served. 

During certain house events, such as parties, hangouts, or fancy dinners, most would opt to cook their food, especially if they have the skill to do so. However, it can be difficult for some people to transfer the cooked food to the other room, especially if it is in a large container. It can also be quite inconvenient to do the same process once you need to refill some plates or go for seconds.


Photo credits: Decor Pad

🟪 Pros

>>Saves a lot of space which is practical for those with smaller homes. 

For those with smaller homes, space can be a very valuable asset, especially if they plan to prioritize placing other items such as work-related setups like a home office and the like. A kitchenette that saves space for more valuable things can be a godsend for many people, so its size becomes an advantage.

>>Generally more affordable. 

Most kitchens look plain without appliances, which leads some people to opt for larger refrigerators and ovens to fill excess space. With a kitchenette, you will not have this issue since you need smaller appliances to save as much space as possible. 

>>Efficient with energy as you will be using the same lighting for your other shared room. 

Another advantage of the kitchenette’s affordability is that it can save you some electricity. Since you would typically need separate lighting or security cameras if you opt for a kitchen, a kitchenette can share the same things with another part of the house instead. For example, if the kitchenette is next to a bedroom, you can use the lighting from that area instead.

>>Convenient for certain occasions where moving cooked food to another area is needed. 

One of the disadvantages of choosing a full kitchen is that kitchenettes can relieve this inconvenience since it will be easier to transfer food since you are technically just carrying it over to the dining table instead of walking through rooms over and over. This is especially convenient for those whose kitchenettes are stationed near their dining area, where kitchenettes are usually placed.

>>It can be considered cozy by some people based on their preferences. 

Kitchenettes are not just smaller, space-saving versions of kitchens, but they can also be a canvas for your artistic side as well. Some people with kitchenettes will actually decorate their kitchenettes, which is more plausible than decorating a whole kitchen. These areas of your home can also be quite cozy to look at, as the compact yet decorative sight of the kitchenette can be quite fulfilling. An added bonus is that kitchenettes are trendy and tasteful for many people worldwide. 

🟪 Cons

>>Comes with the potential risks of being an innate source of fire incidents. 

Living in a smaller space may come with a price. Since other materials that can quickly become engulfed in flames are present near the kitchenette’s area, fire can spread much quicker than in a kitchen. However, this can be easily prevented if preventive measures are followed. 

>>Purchasing new appliances can be difficult if they are much larger than the previous ones. 

If your old refrigerator breaks down and you have to buy a new one, it might not be easy to find a fridge that is the same size. You must buy the same size when replacing the kitchenette’s appliance. Otherwise, you would have to rearrange the appliances over, and over each time something goes wrong.


Kitchenettes become a more favorable choice over kitchens if your current home setup currently fits the following factors:


🟪 Cooking frequency

You have no use for the larger space or dedicated room for a complete kitchen because you do not cook frequently, require little space to prepare your meals, and if you have other spaces where you can store food for emergencies. 

🟪 Fit and right

You can fit the appliances and utensils you need adequately in other areas of the house. If you can comfortably fit the contents of a kitchen in another area of your house without it looking or feeling cramped, then there is no need for a full kitchen. 

🟪 Space-saver

If you live in a small house or an apartment, kitchenettes are way more practical as they can essentially serve the same purpose as a full kitchen. The increased space is one of the few considerations you should think twice about as it can all boil down to personal preference.

However, you potentially miss out on some of a kitchen’s advantages. In terms of practicality, a kitchenette may have an advantage, but you also have to consider and evaluate your current situation.

~EVALUATION: Which one should you choose?~

After assessing all the pros and cons of the kitchen and the kitchenette, your choice should be practical and personal. Kitchenettes may be practical at times, but not everyone is comfortable with having a kitchen as a part of another room. Kitchens provide the comfort of space while kitchenettes provide the comfort of practicality, but for some people, practicality does not equate to comfort. Some consider having more space than you need comfortable instead of saving space as practicality.

Another thing to consider is your budget. Since kitchenettes can cut costs, they become a more favorable choice for those who prefer not to invest their money in a full kitchen. However, for certain events that require a dedicated space for cooking and preparing food, full kitchens become much more useful and favorable.

You can also click here to know if you have the right size for a kitchenette or full kitchen.


Kitchenettes had been one of the most practical and trendy ideas for home design which became increasingly popular during these times. However, both kitchens and their smaller variants have distinct advantages and disadvantages over one another which should not complicate your choices but rather allows them to become fit for your current situation.

Your choice will highly depend on your preferences and home setup. Though there is not much difference between the two cooking areas as they essentially serve the same purpose, the choice you will be making can determine how you will maintain that area of your house over time. 

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